Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Spread a Little Sunshine

As an educator I am constantly 'kidwatching', always on the lookout to catch a student in the act of doing something I can applaud. In pedagogical terms this means that once I discover and recognize the wonderful things my students are doing I can then build on it. Approaching each child from a place of positive feeling, with a warm smile, allows them to become a risk taker, to challenge themselves to push further when the terrain becomes more difficult and to ultimately succeed. 

Yesterday I discovered once again the power of a kind word and acknowledgment of effort. Only this time I was on the receiving end of this dynamic.  Paul at Cafe Philos honored me with The Sun Mountain Award which was "given for appreciation for your outstanding blog".  

Paul wrote some truly touching words which you can read here.  I am taking a chance that he would not mind if I share a bit on this blog. He writes: 
One of the beautiful things about Gary is the help and encouragement he gives his children to find their own gifts. I suppose much of that comes naturally to someone who has found his own bliss. Yet, everyone knows that some teachers have no sense or feel for it. Instead, they act like Procrustes by trying to make every child fit the same bed. Such teachers can cripple some children. What Gary does is radically different from them. Just as their approach can be crippling, his approach sets children on the course of being true to themselves. Profoundly true to themselves. To watch Gary in action is inspiring.
I would like to believe that all pedagogues share the same passion for teaching, with an innate sense of the privilege we are given to be entrusted with caring for and educating children, but that would be exceedingly naive I suppose. For my part I remain grateful that I have found a career that fulfills me so completely and which brings me joy each and every day.  (I know this may be coming across as a little much but it is honestly how I feel.)  

So, thanks Paul for doing a grown-up version of 'kidwatching' and bringing some positive energy my way.  I appreciate it.

14 comments:

Steve said...

Congrats on the positive feedback. You SO deserve it. Your blog is always an affirming experience!

Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

You deserved the award. I have been thinking of starting my own award to favorite blogs. You'd be one of the first to get a four trash can rating from Junk Thief. (That would be a positive rating, coming from me and my co-host, Oscar the Grouch.)

Aileen said...

Wow! Congratulations! Isn't it amazing what some praise and appreciation can do to our spirit? Keep up the great work.

Paul said...

Gary, I'm very gratified the Award pleases you! Thank you so much for an outstanding blog!

The Lehners in France said...

Hi, I arrived here via dumdad, inspired by one of your comments. I truly believe the work you are doing with your students is amazing and must give you the most fulfilling feeling ever. I am sure you deserve your recent award and I feel priveledged to have wandered a little into your world for a short time. Keep up the great work. I just love kids, they are like sponges, they take everthing in. Debs x

Dumdad said...

Congrats - well deserved!

Working mum said...

Thanks for popping over to mine. Yes, I love teaching too! Sometimes stressful, sometimes frustrating but ultimately rewarding!

btw we have the same random question - don't be afraid, just go!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

kudos!! yes, yes, very well deserved!! keep up the good work both here in the blogosphere and in the classroom (could it be otherwise? I don't think so!)
we all depend on fyb to inspire us and to bring in some extra rays of sunshine!

Reya Mellicker said...

Congrats! You deserve all the awards, you really do.

So do the rest of ya'll, btw.

Gary said...

I agree with Reya, all of you are quite worthy and deserving of kind words, positive energy, happy thoughts and countless blog awards! Thanks for the support and encouragement you have given me on this journey.

Mona said...

In teaching we learn too!

You deserve the award! :)

dennis said...

Dennis loves Gary.

lettuce said...

tis all true

WAT said...

You deserve it Gary. You're quite the optimist and so nice to yer kids, in this very crazy messed up world and incresingly difficult times.

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